Our overall emphasis on retreat is on helping each person find her or his unique path, and on tapping into the grace of the deep heart beyond emotions.
Apart from meetings with facilitators, our retreats are held in silence. There are meetings with facilitators in group interviews, and the opportunity for one-to-one meetings.
Participants are expected to stay for the whole retreat.
There can be a temptation to think of retreat as either hard work or simply a break to relieve the stress of our busy lifestyles. However, to allow this subtle and powerful training to have the greatest impact, it is best to come to the retreat as rested as possible.
On Open Dharma retreats different factors work together to create an atmosphere of profound creativity and stillness where we can feel free to be ourselves and welcome a free life. Most retreats include the following elements:
~ Sample schedule
We often experiment with different formats and schedules, and a schedule must also adapt to the rhythm of the host center and culture. Below is a schedule used in Spain just to give a flavor of the days on retreat.
One possible retreat schedule:
06:00 wake up
06:30 connected movement
(yoga, chi gong, walk with the group or individual exercises)
07:30 meditation in the hall
09:15 meditation in action (duties)
10:15 meditation in the hall with instructions
11:15 walking meditation (and some group interviews)
12:00 meditation in the hall (and some group interviews)
12:45 lunch and rest
15:45 meditation in the hall (sometimes guided)
16:30 walking meditation
18:15 walking meditation
19:00 light supper
20:00 meditation in the hall
20:30 optional meditative singing
21:00 rest or further individual practice